India is celebrating one of its biggest festivals commemorating the victory of good over evil. In Bihar, which is in the middle of its biggest election campaign in recent times, poll hysteria has taken a backseat with festivities in full swing for the next three days.
Archana Masih/Rediff.com set out to capture the mood on the street -- and discovers some things that one no longer finds.
A boy selling plastic dolphins and bansuriS (flutes) outside a Durga puja pandal at a chowk. Posters by the Election Commission urging voters to vote are wrapped around the roundabout.
GullakS made of mud to store and save coins. Some crafted in the shape of a gas cylinder and painted red are also available. They even have 'Indane' written on it.
A family selling baskets made of bamboo strips. This is called a dalia (basket) and costs Rs 50.
Ceramic statues of gods, goddesses and toys on a thela. The mini gas cylinder is on the left.
A young boy takes a photograph of murtis inside a pandal.
Paramilitary personnel eat chaat during a break. Referred to by locals as 'Force,' the central troopers have been deployed for the election.
A riot of colours in your tea cup. Another thela selling colourful cups outside a court.
Banners with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Saina Nehwal, Aamir Khan promoting the importance of the vote can be found across Bihar towns and cities. There are no posters of candidates or political parties this side of the Ganga. In Patna, large hoardings of Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar dominate the skyline.